Friday, April 29, 2016

Public Health Training

As part of its public health workforce development efforts, Maine CDC and partner organizations have created a website for online public health training.  If you want to learn more about public health, you can access one of the current training modules at:   
Current topics include an Orientation to Public Health in Maine, Lyme Disease, Bedbugs, Drinking Water, Food, Hoarding and Nuisance Control.  Look for new online training modules and other training opportunities in future Public Health Updates or go to and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up for the mailing list.

We have recently added downloadable documents in the “News & Views” section of this site. We encourage you to print the downloadable flyer and double-sided card to share with your colleagues and others who may have an interest in public health.  

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Maine Passes Law to Curb Opioid Abuse

Governor Paul LePage signed into law “An Act to Prevent Opiate Abuse by Strengthening the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program” (now PL 2015, c. 488) on April 19, making Maine the second state to pass legislation on the issue this year. 
Beginning January 1, 2017, providers will not be allowed to prescribe more than a seven-day supply of opioids within a seven-day period for acute pain or a 30-day supply within a 30-day period for chronic pain. 
Maine’s 100 morphine milligram equivalent (MME) cap for new patients is slightly higher than the 90 MME called for under U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines and lower than the 120 MME cap enacted by Massachusetts and Washington. Patients currently receiving opioid pain medication have a higher, 300 MME cap until July 2017 to ease their transition to a lower dose. 

For more information, see the press release at

Friday, April 15, 2016

Online learning opportunities

U.S. CDC has launched a redesigned and improved CDC Learning Connection website. The site is a source for information about public health training developed by U.S. CDC, its partners and other federal agencies. Many include free continuing education credits. The site is available at

You may also find training of interest on Maine CDC’s public health training site:

Thursday, April 14, 2016

May Health Equity Trainings

The Hanley Center is hosting health equity and culture competence workshops in Ellsworth and Augusta in May.
Positive health outcomes are not evenly distributed across the public. Some populations face much greater challenges in achieving and maintaining good health. Public health leaders can play a crucial role in understanding the reasons for these differences and leading strategies to promote greater health equity. The workshop will explore the concepts of health and health care disparities, build greater insight into unconscious/implicit bias and delve into models for developing individual and organizational cultural competence.
Below are links to the EventBrite pages with additional information and tickets:

Monday, April 4, 2016

Zika virus

As of March 30, 2016, 312 cases of travel-associated Zika have been identified in the U.S.  There have been no locally-acquired cases in U.S. states, but 349 locally-acquired cases in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
U.S. CDC has issued new recommendations for prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus for couples in which a man has traveled to or resides in an area with active Zika virus transmission:
  • Couples in which a woman is pregnant should use condoms consistently and correctly or abstain from sex for the duration of the pregnancy
  • Couples in which a man had confirmed Zika virus infection or clinical illness consistent with Zika virus disease should consider using condoms or abstaining from sex for at least 6 months after onset of illness
  • Couples in which a man traveled to an area with active Zika virus transmission but did not develop symptoms of Zika virus disease should consider using condoms or abstaining from sex for at least 8 weeks after departure from the area
  • Couples in which a man resides in an area with active Zika virus transmission but has not developed symptoms of Zika virus disease might consider using condoms or abstaining from sex while active transmission persists  
Zika virus is spread to people through mosquito bites. Though less common, Zika can be transmitted through sexual contact from a male to his partner. Only one in five people infected with Zika show symptoms, which include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. Illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. 
For more information: